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Cancun Shows Continued Strong Growth Of Tourist Arrivals

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Outstanding Numbers Highlight Growing Popularity Of Beach Resort Town

More than five million Americans visited Cancun and the rest of Quintana Roo in the first eight months of 2021 according to the Mexican Ministry of Tourism. The new figures highlight an increase in U.S. tourists from before the pandemic.

cancun sunset skyline

The news will be welcomed by local businesses and the tourism industry as a whole as it indicates an extremely strong recovery for the beachside resort town. Despite COVID’s effect on travel across the world, the region’s traffic grew. Cancun is one of the few destinations on the planet that have managed to capitalize successfully on the pandemic.

According to the ministry of tourism, over 5.5 million Americans were welcomed to the state only until August – an 8.3% increase on 2019’s figures. The figures for the rest of the year were omitted, but suggest a similar trend. The next country on the list is Canada, with just over two hundred and sixty thousand visitors heading to the Mexican Caribbean, while Colombia and Brazil rounded out the top five. The five and a half million visitors make up over 44% of Mexico’s entire American tourist figures.

beach in cancun

The secretary of tourism for Quintana Roo, Bernardo Cueto Riestra recently returned from Washington, D.C, where he met with government officials to discuss the US’ travel warnings for the region. In an attempt to help safeguard the future of American travelers to Quintana Roo in the face of some of the recent violence, Riestra presented officials with assurances that tourists are not and will not be affected by the issues currently plaguing the city.

jetblue planes in cancun

Riestra said of the meetings: “During our visit to Washington, we shared the great recovery of tourist activity in the entity and the strategies that have been implemented within the Mexican Caribbean so that the millions of tourists who visit us annually find a safe destination. We are certain that we will continue to have the confidence of travelers from the United States, our main source market for tourists”

boardwalk in cancun area

The numbers are prompting suggestions that 2022 will also be a year of growth, and not recovery, as with many of the world’s most sought-after destinations. Cancun International airport remains one of the most connected airports on the planet and investment in the region continues to flow. 

Some are not as confident that the trend will continue. Mexico’s refusal to shut down in any way during the pandemic proved to be a tremendous advantage for the tourism industry. Cancun flourished and towns like Tulum saw astonishing growth. But the fact remains that Mexico was one of the only options most Americans had if they wanted to travel.

beach houses in cancun

Now, as the rest of the world loosens its borders, drops restrictions, and relaxes other pandemic-related aspects of daily life, Mexico once again faces plentiful competition. Other similar destinations like Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and Barbados have opened their doors once more, and although crime continues to be a problem for some of them, their violence is not as well documented as that in Quintana Roo.

cenote near cancun

With seemingly safer options available, many Americans may choose an alternate vacation spot. Europe has been completely off the cards for the past two years but, similarly, that is changing. And with trends suggesting tourists are willing to spend far more than in previous years thanks to pent-up demand, a pricer European destination may be attractive for many.

The Mexican Caribbean can also count on losing a significant portion of its European market, which may have only undertaken a transatlantic trip to avoid strict rules in the likes of Greece, and Spain.

Regardless of the outcome, the numbers will provide a lot of hope for Quintana Roo, and tourists should continue to anticipate large crowds wherever they choose to spend their vacation.

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